Hurt Locker Still Shared Widely Online; Wonder Why Producers Aren't Issuing Takedowns?

from the why-interfere-with-the-business-model? dept

By now we all know about how the producers of the movie Hurt Locker, Voltage Pictures, are suing thousands of people for file sharing their movie. And, you're probably also aware of the claims from Nicolas Chartier, who runs Voltage, that anyone who thinks these lawsuits are a bad strategy is a moron and a thief. You might also be aware that Chartier's "morality" on such subjects does not extend to paying the soldier whose story the movie is based on, but we'll leave that for another day.

However, it is interesting that despite all of this publicity and all of this attention about lawsuits, that file sharing for the movie has not dropped at all. It appears to still be quite popular on file sharing sites. More interesting is that Voltage, and the lawyers they've hired to file these thousands of lawsuits, US Copyright Group (or, more accurately, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver) apparently have not issued a single DMCA takedown notice to get the file removed from various file sharing networks.

That's pretty telling, of course. It certainly suggests that this has nothing, whatsoever, to do with stopping file sharing or any sort of moral position. The law gives Voltage and US Copyright Group the tools, via a DMCA takedown to mitigate damages. But they're not using them. Instead, they're suing as many people as they can and threatening to take them to court if they don't pay up. That feels a lot more like a typical shakedown. If USCG and Voltage were really interested in stopping file sharing, why wouldn't they use the tools within the law to improve the situation for themselves? It does make you wonder, should any of these lawsuits actually reach a court, if those who are sued will point to Voltage's own failure to mitigate the infringement through the tools provided by the law....

Filed Under: copyright, hurt locker, lawsuits
Companies: dunlap grubb & weaver, us copyright group, voltage pictures


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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 6 Jul 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know why Congress allows statutory damages in copyright infringement cases.

    If they didn't, everyone would realize that copyright infringement doesn't do much harm, damages would be minimal, and nobody would follow the rules.

    In other words: "Screw everyone else, copyright holders need to get paid."

    The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights tells all:

    The need for this special remedy arises from the acknowledged inadequacy of actual damages and profits:

    - The value of a copyright is, by its nature, difficult to establish, and the loss caused by an infringement is equally hard to determine. As a result, actual damages are often conjectural, and may be impossible or prohibitively expensive to prove.

    - In many cases, especially those involving public performances, the only direct loss that could be proven is the amount of a license fee. An award of such an amount would be an invitation to infringe with no risk of loss to the infringer.

    - The actual damages capable of proof are often less than the cost to the copyright owner of detecting and investigating infringements.

    - An award of the infringer's profits would often be equally inadequate. There may have been little or no profit, or it may be impossible to compute the amount of profits attributable to the infringement. Frequently, the infringer's profits will not be an adequate measure of the injury caused to the copyright owner.

    In sum, statutory damages are intended (1) to assure adequate compensation to the copyright owner for his injury and (2) to deter infringement.


    That report was part of the basis for the total re-working of copyright law in 1976.

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